Thursday, May 04, 2006

Comic Dictionary - Easy Writing

Today's term is "Easy Writing," (for the pun value, I wanted to go with Easy Writer, but it just didn't make as much sense as Easy Writing) which is defined as "When a writer has certain events occur in a comic, not because they make sense, but because the writer needs certain things to happen a certain way, and it is just easier to have characters act out of character/illogically than to put in the time to make the scene work logically.

Very often, this occurs during outside writing, but it does not always have to be outside writing. It can sometimes just be when a writer personally wants a story to go a certain way, but usually, it happens in outside writing, when an editor tells a writer that "X" HAS to occur, so the writer will just have X happen, and not spend the time to see if it makes sense or not.


Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Dude. It's comics. Insane deadline pressure on all sides to GET. PRODUCT. OUT. The. DOOR.

Which means that there's going to be mistakes. Like plotting errors.

If we weren't willing to accept this, we'd all be reading, like, books and stuff where this is less likely to happen.

5/04/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cheeseburger said...

If we are willing to accept it then we are dumb. Why should we read non sensical gibberish that leaves us bitching and moaning on the internet when we could read something that was well put together and enjoyable that left a warm, fuzzy feeling inside?

5/04/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Yeah, comics should be good.

And if they are not good because the writer didn't put the time in to make a scene work, that's just as bad as if the scene didn't work because the writer is just a bad writer.

The end result is a bad scene.

5/04/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Yeah, but comics AREN'T that good.

At least, due to time constraints, Mainstream corporate comics are much more likely to have, like Pol says, steamroller plots from point A to point B than media that don't have to deal with these constraints.

Same deal with TV, really. An' quite a few big movies.

Superhero comics almost have to have some kind of easy writing. Writer's simply don't have the time to churn out their best work.

It's TOUGH to hit the plot points you need to hit while covering up the fact that you're trying to hit your plot points with an actual story.

Occasionally a comic writer'll produce a perfectly realized piece of fiction. In fact, I can't think of ANY major comic writer ever who hasn't knocked one out of the park.

But more often there's either an over-reliance on storytelling formulas for story-beat placement

(Ok, we had the big splash, now we need some romantic tension with Captain Crab-Face's girlfriend, and on page 12... The BIG FIGHT SCENE!)

OR some wonkiness with plot or charater. And, in all honestly, I'd prefer bad to formulaic.

5/04/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cheeseburger said...

"And, in all honestly, I'd prefer bad to formulaic."

Really? You would? REALLY? I guess a comic can be bad and entertaining so that's why someone might like it (hey I read Ultimate Spider-man for heaven's sake), but wouldn't you prefer something that was good (ie well written) AND entertaining as opposed to just entertaining.

5/04/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

I'm big on Novlelty. Even bad novelty. Even if something sucks, if it sucks in an interesting way I like it.

Another point why I'm not so down on easy writing:

Plot can get in the way of cool crap happening.

I'm a huge fan of the first Mcguiness/Loeb Superman Batman arc.

Which, admitedly, is fairly nonsensical in story terms.

But by it's own logic* it works just fine. Lots of cool stuff happens, which is the point. I admire this kind of damn the torpedoes, bring on the "Fuck Yeah Moment" (to quote Dave Campbell) approach.

*Hey! Let's have something COOL happen. Hey! Let's have something else cool which may or may not be tangentally connected to the first cool thing Happen!)

5/04/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I keep forgetting about MarkAndrew's "I prefer bad to formulaic" stance.

You are consistent, MarkAndrew!!!

5/04/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Yes, there are comics out there that are bad. But, you know, the easy solution to that is to not read shit comics.

5/04/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

I Know! I keep writing Marvel and telling them to implement a convenient labelling system. Would make my life way easier. That way I could buy good comics and people who prefer crappy comics could buy crappy comics.

"I keep forgetting about MarkAndrew's "I prefer bad to formulaic" stance.

You are consistent, MarkAndrew!!! "

Thank You.

5/04/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

Sorry, I'm not convinced. I understand that there are people out there who prefer bad to formulaic, but that's not a point. That's a preference.

It gives no reflection on the actual quality of the book, just on how much you liked it. Hell, I love Tron, but I'm not calling it a cinematic masterpiece.

5/04/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Easy Reader said...

this comic is easy to read ...

5/05/2006 08:17:00 PM  
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